Concrete legs got you feeling down?

If you’ve ever done a CrossFit session you’ll know they can be… rough.

Unfortunately, lots of people make things harder than they need to by missing some simple but important steps in their nutrition.

So today I’m chatting to Sports Dietitian and Crossfit Coach Jenna Stein to get all the info you need to help you beat the person next to you, every single time.


Jono: Welcome back to the Bite Me Nutrition podcast. If you hear us chuckling, look, open, this is the third attempt we've had it recording this. So third time's the charm, right? Anyway, I'm here with Jenna, who most of you should know, and if you don't know, what the hell man, sort yourself out. But, if for some strange reason before you go sort yourself out, I'm going to get her to tell you who she is, what she does, and why she does it, and say hello.

Jenna: Yeah. Hi. Well, yeah, I'm Jenna. If people listening don't know who I am by now, there's definitely something wrong with you. But-
Jono: right?

Jenna: ... just going to go in hard. Yeah, I guess I'm a dietician, sports dietician with Bite Me Nutrition, definitely sort of posting all of that CrossFit content on the social media. Yeah, so I guess dietician in one hand, I'm also a CrossFit coach. I've been a CrossFit coach for, I think I'm going on nearly four years now. And then on top of that, obviously a CrossFitter myself. And so definitely amongst that world in terms of, okay, from a nutrition side of things, and then very much from being on the floor, talking to people, experiencing working with clients from the athletic side and the nutrition side as well when it comes to CrossFit. So yeah, seen it all.

Jono: I'm sure there's a bit to see too, which we'll definitely be chatting about. How long have you been, so you said you've been a CrossFit coach for almost four years or over four years. How long have you been CrossFitting yourself?

Jenna: It is hard to say. Look, long story short, when I graduated my first degree, not my only degree. When I graduated my first degree, I think I was in my early 20s. I moved halfway across Queensland to start my first job, was working in a lab at the time, and I think this was back when CrossFit was just starting to get a bit more mainstream. Bunch of ladies in the lab were doing it, and they were like, "Oh, okay, come along, check this thing out." So yeah, did. It was like, yeah, cool. This is great. I turn up, someone tells me what to do, I go home. It's no big deal. I was very much in the bodybuilding, Les Mills. Love me some good

Jono: Yeah, yeah.

Jenna: So yeah, I was coming from that kind of background and I was kind of like, "Oh, yeah, cool. This isn't... It's fine." Left that job and then it wasn't for maybe a few years, I was living in England at the time, and so I was across the world all by myself and then was kind of like, you know what? I might give CrossFit another try, looking for somewhere. The biggest thing that drew it to me was the friends that you make. I think that was the big thing that I remembered when I was doing it before.
I wanted somewhere that was expecting me to turn up, being by myself I didn't want to just sort of stay at home and socially isolate myself so I wanted to get out and then, yeah, from there just sort of fell in love with it. So that's why it makes it really hard for me to figure out exactly how many years I've been doing it because it started and then I stopped for a number of years and then, yeah, got back into it, came back to Australia, kept going, became a coach, and then here I am today.


Jenna: I think if I had to put a number on it, I was going to say like six years, maybe.

Jono: Yeah, right. Yeah. So it wasn't necessarily love at first CrossFit?

Jenna: No.

Jono: It was a bit of a pause.

Jenna: Yeah, I definitely... Look, I went back to my old, there's nothing wrong with bodybuilding, nothing wrong with Les Mills, I just... I went back to what was comfortable for me and then yeah, definitely was like, yeah, I need to try something different. This isn't, I don't... No hate on globo gyms, but when you don't know anyone and you're in a whole different country, going into a globo gym was the most scariest thing that I think I was... I was like, "No, I'm not going to do this." And then yeah, if anyone that you meet that does CrossFit will probably tell you the exact same thing. Everyone in CrossFit gyms is just the most welcoming, and it's always the community that draws you in first and then you stay for the rest of it. Yeah.

Jono: Yeah, yeah. Awesome. Yeah, I think any client I've ever had who does CrossFit is very passionate about their box and everyone in it, and it's definitely not just a way to keep fit, which is good, right? Because community is a very important part of health, so it's kind of hitting a few different things, so that's cool. Are you still CrossFitting regularly at the moment? Does your training look a bit different now?

Jenna: Yeah, so taking a little bit more of a, I guess a sidestep from CrossFit, solely CrossFit at the moment. Yeah, I got injured, I think, 12 months ago. Over training injuries, very, very common in CrossFit. I've had multiple, so essentially had to really pull back on the intensity, and so a long time rehabbing and working on strength and yeah, from that got super, super strong and was like, well, may as well use this to do something else. Yeah, the Olympic lifting side of things was always something that I enjoyed about CrossFit. So yeah, I've taken a bit more of a sidestep now transitioning to, I would say, maybe 60% of my week is more Olympic lifting and then CrossFitting on the other sort of alternate days to still one, I still love it, but two, fitness for weightlifting is still very important. So not CrossFitting is much as normal, but still definitely trying to get back amongst it. My fitness as a weightlifter, my fitness has dropped a little bit.

Jono: I can imagine you'd lose the top bit. The top bit of that.

Jenna: Yeah, yeah.

Jono: So good segue. It's almost like we planned this into, I guess, fueling for CrossFit versus fueling for other strength sports. Obviously it's got a lot of dumbbells and barbells and things. So I think a lot of people can think about bodybuilding, power lifting, Strongman's kind of its own weird thing, but I've heard people call Strongman CrossFit with max weight, which I think is epic because that's pretty much what it is, but anyway, we've got barbells. We've got dumbbells, but it's not your traditional strength sports like the others. So how does fueling for CrossFit differ from those others?

Jenna: Yeah, I guess we got to look at... I guess the similarities and the differences between them and because that then is going to essentially dictate how we fuel for them. And so CrossFit, if you aren't aware, there's usually some kind of, I guess, strength component. Always still your sort of traditional lifts, your back squat, deadlift, bench, Olympic lifting, all of that kind of stuff. So there is still that traditional sort of strength building component, but then after that there's a lot more of that metabolic conditioning. So your met cons, that high intensity side of things, and I guess that's the biggest difference is the intensity. So I know I'm guilty of it, I'm sure you're guilty of it when we're in a weightlifting or a traditional sort of power lifting, picking something up once, putting it back down kind of setting, you're going to take five, 10 minutes, hopefully not 10 minutes, you're going to take a few minutes between your sets. Your heart rate's going to come back down, so nah, we don't do that. Definitely don't do that.

Jono: I'm 60 seconds tops. Actually that would be bad as well, so anyway.

Jenna: But when we have more of that sort of when we're focusing just on strength, yes, your intensity, your heart rate's going to come up during your lift, but you get that recovery time afterwards. When we're looking at, I guess CrossFit, so inside that sort of metabolic conditioning side of things is its intensity. Your heart rate is up and it stays up. And so we've got to remember that with intensity comes more of a utilization of carbohydrates, and so still power lifting, Olympic lifting, all those strength-based sports, yes, there is still carbohydrates, it is still important, but when we're transitioning to the CrossFit realm of things, that need for carbohydrates is just that little bit higher because we have that high intensity.

Jono: Yeah, yeah. Gotcha. So is that the main difference, just the amount of fuel and the amount of carbohydrates?

Jenna: Yeah, in all honestly, the amount of fuel is probably the biggest difference. Our protein requirements, they don't change too much depending on the kind of style of strength training you're doing, but the carbohydrates is definitely the biggest thing. Yeah.

Jono: Yeah. Do you feel like CrossFit has done a good job of telling people to eat carbohydrates? Is that a leading question?

Jenna: No, they haven't done a good job, and this is probably the thing that I guess I'm most passionate about because being in the space of CrossFit more than just an athlete or an everyday goer turning up to the gym, I've been through the training courses and all that kind of thing. I've been immersed in the other side of it, and definitely the motto of was it eat nuts and seeds? No starch, I'm not even going to say it because you don't need to listen to it. But yeah, CrossFit is notorious for demonizing, I guess, carbohydrates because they've lumped it all, all carbohydrates in the same boat and haven't really taken a step back to look at the bigger picture and the other things that influence health and all of those kinds of things. So yeah, definitely the low carb diet is the bane of my existence when it comes to talking to CrossFitters.

Jono: Yeah. Yeah, it's wild. I find it so crazy that probably one of the most carbohydrate-fueled sports is, yeah, anyhow, that's a-

Jenna: So anti carbs.

Jono: You're out there, you're spreading the good word, doing what you can.

Jenna: Yeah.

Jono: In, so like you said, protein intake fairly standard across the board. Fat we know is kind of individual, but that carbohydrate intake, is that something I need to be like, I'm going to start CrossFitting, is that something that... Look, anyway, is that something-

Jenna: Cat did say to me she'd be keen to do a CrossFit session if... So-

Jono: Well, you two enjoy that.

Jenna: ... get the whole team involved.

Jono: What's the opposite of a team building exercise? Team destruction? Look, I would be potentially, I have some dumbbells downstairs. I have a barbell. I guess I could, I have bumpers.

Jenna: You've got one CrossFit workout on your list of things to do.

Jono: Oh yeah, that's right. Yeah. Look, I have an Air Bike. I have no excuse actually. Really. Do I?

Jenna: No.

Jono: The Echo Bike actually. Sorry, an Echo Bike. So anyway, I'm not here to talk about me. We're talking about this fictional person who's started CrossFit.

Jenna: Yep.

Jono: Do I need to worry about my carbohydrates all day? Do I need to worry about them around my workout? Do I need to worry about them on rest days?

Jenna: Yeah. I guess our favorite words as dieticians always, it depends, but as a bit of a, it depends on, I guess, your goals and what else we're trying to achieve. But from a performance standpoint, then yes, we need to be considering our carbohydrates mostly across the day, but realistically around training, that's where we have the, I guess, the biggest bang for our buck. And so what that's going to look like is what are we doing leading into training? What are we doing during training? And that's really for those people that are training more than an hour a day.
So for most the everyday gym, or CrossFitter I should say, that nine to five warrior, we don't need to really be super concerned about what we're having during a session. It's more for those that are doing those two, three-hour sessions, that's sort another next level. And then what are we doing for our recovery as well? Because I'm guilty of it. I'm very good at hammering that sort of pre-training side of things because that is really where you're going to see a huge increasing your performance because a lot of people aren't doing it, but we also need to consider the recovery. And so how we're spreading the carbohydrates out across the day, because again, CrossFitters are notorious. Five sessions a week trying to back it up, it's just, it's a recipe for disaster if we're not taking in that whole picture.

Jono: Yeah. So pre and post being most... I know you mentioned it's going to depend on someone's goals. I'd say a common goal I see is clients who want to CrossFit, they want to get the most out of their CrossFit, but they're also trying to reduce some body fat. Where would you compromise first on that...? But where in the day with amounts or any of that stuff, where would you compromise first?

Jenna: Yeah, so it depends again on when someone is training. It's just natural. It depends.

Jono: No

Jenna: Okay, so say we've got the scenario of someone that trains first thing in the morning, the first thing that I always talk to clients about when we've got body composition goals with performance, we've got to think of, I guess, losing fat. We've got to be in that calorie deficit. It is an intentional under fueling that we are going into. So we've got to take that into consideration that we can have one and the other, it just might be a slower process or if we really want to have weight loss, we're going to have to negotiate on performance. So it is a little bit of test and adjust to see how, I don't want to say how low we can go on calories because that's never how we want to be thinking, but where we kind of sit with those two goals.
But we're saying that, so our theoretical person that trains first thing in the morning. Within that calorie budget, I would be prioritizing your carbs around your pre-training, so your pre-training snack, then breakfast as your recovery meal. Potentially then we could go slightly lower carb maybe lunch, and then prioritizing that day leading into the next day as an evening meal. And that would be how we could still fit that body composition goals because obviously carbs and calories and all that kind of matter, but pushing things around to where we need them to support recovery and training, that's usually typically how we would juggle that.

Jono: Yeah, so the timing is still... And like you said, you're going to have to compromise to some degree, but how little can we compromise on that performance.

Jenna: Yeah.

Jono: You talked about pre-training and especially for early morning trainers, not that you talk about pre-training all that much. I certainly don't either, and I'm sure you don't get many questions about it, but-

Jenna: No, not at all.

Jono: ... I know a huge one is I can't eat before I train. I feel sick. I'm not going to have eggs on toast and then go do a CrossFit workout.

Jenna: Yeah.

Jono: So what should I be eating? Why should I be eating? How can you be sure I won't vomit?

Jenna: Yeah, yeah. Look, and it's a very reasonable, I guess, objection that we get. I would never expect someone that's training at five o'clock in the morning to get up at 3:00 AM to eat their usual toast or porridge or anything like that. That's just... one, it's not necessary and two, sleep is way more important. And so often or not when we're talking about pre-training snacks, immediately the mind goes to a meal and it doesn't necessarily need to be a meal. So the reason why we have to do it, and so if we consider especially those people training first thing in the morning, it's a little bit of a different situation towards the end of the day, but we have our last meal at night. It's a carbohydrate rich meal, we're then going to sleep, we're going to be asleep for maybe eight, ideally eight hours. Some people might be a little bit less, but we're going into essentially an eight hour fast.
And through that our body is still going to be breaking down carbohydrates. We're then going to wake up essentially somewhat depleted from the night, from that carbohydrate-rich meal, and then we're going to go in and absolutely drain our battery. So we want to make sure that before we go in, we've got the fuel that our body needs readily available to burn in that workout because we know with intensity we need more carbohydrates. So if we've got the carbohydrates there ready to go, we're going to get a better quality session. So you're going to lift more weights, you're going to run faster, you're going to do more reps. If we can do all of those things, we're going to get fitter, stronger. We're going to have better outcomes. And so we're improving the quality of that session, which I would argue for most people, especially CrossFitters, that is the most important thing. We all want to be beating the guy next to us. So if we're eating, we've got more fuel, we're going to beat the person next to us. That's, I guess, how I would-


Jenna: ... approach it. Yeah, with clients. What you should be having. So this is where, okay, we don't need to be having that toast right before we exercise because can 99% guarantee you probably are going to lose it on that first burpee. So the things to prioritize is, all right, well how close to training am I going to be eating? So if I'm going to be, look, if you're the kind of person that hits the alarm, rolls out of bed, straight in the car, straight to the gym, you've got 10 minutes, cool. We might be looking at something like some fruit juice or some lollies or something carbohydrate-rich, very, very low in fiber almost sometimes, some that are partly broken down, I guess.
If we've got a little bit more time, okay maybe that could look like a piece of fruit, a muesli bar, a cereal bar or something a little bit bigger but the biggest thing that always trying to communicate to clients is something is always better than nothing. And so if we can, as we're walking in the gym, stick two lollies in our mouth. I know it seems weird at five o'clock in the morning, that's going to still give you a better session than if you hadn't done that at all. And so they're the biggest things looking for is, okay, what kind of prioritizing that sort of simple carbohydrate and then how soon am I going to be training is probably going to change small things within that snack. But luckily feel like I'm an encyclopedia of pre-training snacks at this stage. I can...

Jono: You are my go-to resource, yes.

Jenna: I've tried them all. I know which ones work, which ones don't work. Yeah, I love a good pre-training snack.

Jono: Yeah, well, I'm just stick to LCMs or juice. That's my go-to, but what's your go-to at the moment or do you have seasons?

Jenna: My OG is always going to be pureed fruit. I feel like I just can't get past it. It's just super convenient because six o'clock in the morning you just crack it, suck it on the way down and drive it in. That and juice, I think are my two big ones too. Yeah, I'm not the rice crackers and the...

Jono: It's too much work. I would just get honey everywhere and yeah.

Jenna: Too much chewing.

Jono: Yeah, there's a lot of chewing in rice cakes. Now what if I'm training, what if I'm an evening trainer, how does that change for my pre-training needs?

Jenna: So I guess we got to think about then, okay, well we don't have that scenario of we're essentially going into a fast for the evening or for the overnight period. So it does change things slightly, but still not that much. So now it comes into when was our last meal? All right? So if we haven't eaten a meal within three to four hours, then we should definitely be prioritizing some kind of snack and it may then need to be a bigger pre-training snack than something like some pureed fruit or a cereal bar or something like that because we've got, essentially, if we've got more time, if we've got maybe two hours, we can have slightly bigger snack. But still, my general rule of thumb with most clients is okay, because most people are having lunch, maybe 1:00 12:00, 1 o'clock. CrossFit doesn't start till four o'clock. Maybe you still have your regular afternoon tea and then still have that sort of pre-training snack or primer, I guess, if you want to call it for something else that 30 minutes before we train. So literally as we're on our way to CrossFit, it's still not going to hurt to have that little bit extra boost going into that session. So it's still important I guess for that evening session depending on what the rest of your day looks like, but more so for those that are training first thing in the morning. I think that's probably, yeah, it comes down to when was your last meal? What was your last meal? Essentially will dictate whether you need that pre-training snack.

Jono: Yeah. Okay. But why would you not?

Jenna: I don't know I'm in the camp that's, like I said, something is always better than nothing. It really comes down to we've got, I guess, a tight calorie budget and we are trying to make sure that we are within a certain target, okay push comes to shove, we've got to make some allowances elsewhere, but a pre-training snack is what, 20 grams of carbohydrate. It's really not going to make that much of a dent into a calorie deficit.

Jono: Yeah, I feel like if that's getting you, then you probably should come talk to Jenna 'cause she can probably structure your day a little bit better.

Jenna: Yeah.

Jono: Cool. Okay, so virtually what I'm hearing is there's no way out of pre-training. Cool. Good. Do you hear that everyone? Bloody hell. I never thought I'd get so much pushback asking someone to eat lollies.

Jenna: Wow. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jono: But like you said, there's tons of different options out there. I'm sure we've got posts, I'm sure you've got posts on it. Maybe we can do a bigger post or yeah, we... So I typically would say that for someone, play around a little bit with the timing, play around with what you're having. I'm sure we can find something. Hey, yeah.

Jenna: Yeah, the sky's the limit when you're thinking about a pre-training snack. Something with obviously we've got to make sure that there's no fiber, there's no fat and there's no protein because they're the things that are going to sit in your stomach. They're the things that are going to make you lose it when you start exercising. So long as we don't have any of that and we've still got that sort of 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates, it doesn't matter what kind of thing that you have. And so that's why there is zero excuse to not have something because I can guarantee you, I can find you something that you-

Jono: [inaudible 00:23:55] it.

Jenna: ... would tolerate.

Jono: Yes, love it.

Jenna: Yeah.

Jono: Cool. All right. So I'm being a good boy. I'm eating something before I train. Post-training meal, you mentioned the importance of that and the carbohydrates in that. What could that look like and what other things do I need to consider in that meal?

Jenna: Yeah, so the same thing. If we think about, all right, well, what have we done in that training session? We've used our muscles. So we've used the sugars that are stored in our muscles, so we need to replenish that. We've also broken down some of our muscles, so that's, it's the natural process of strength building. We're going to have tears and all that kind of thing. So they're the things that we've got to address. So it's kind of that repair, refuel, rehydrate to put a slogan on it. So what that looks like is, okay, then do I have some protein coming in, so I need the protein to help rebuild the muscles that I've damaged? Do I then have carbohydrate as well to replace the fuel stores? It's also going to help with the protein side of things, with the absorption of the protein and all that science, and then making sure that we're rehydrating, especially coming into summer in Australia. They're the biggest things that we've got to think about in a, I guess, recovery meal. So I'm sure everyone's heard of, I guess, the anabolic window and we've all got to chug a protein shake as soon as we finish exercising.

Jono: Read my mind.

Jenna: Mm. Mm-hmm. Just everyone standing around chugging protein shakes. It's not necessarily the case. Ideally, we're sort of wanting to get something in within that first 90 minutes just to get the most bang for our buck in terms of our body's most receptive to that recovery state. So if we can get a meal, and it doesn't have to be... 'cause this is, I think, where people might tend to overthink things a little bit too much. It doesn't have to be anything outside your normal. Say you train first thing in the morning, it just looks like it's your regular breakfast, but we're still, again, making sure that there's some carbohydrate in there. We've got some protein and we're still rehydrating across the day, looks like dinner, looks like lunch. If we're not able to do that, then that's when maybe we need to maybe resort to things like protein shakes or those bloody Rokeby smoothies. They're just... they can do no wrong.

Jono: They're so good.

Jenna: Yeah, but, okay-

Jono: This podcast is sponsored by Rokeby... No, it's not. I'm kidding everyone. That's a joke. I wish.

Jenna: But if we can't get a meal all right, well, what convenient thing can I have to start that recovery process? Because I can appreciate, appetite is super low when you finish, especially high intensity exercise, but we've still got to make sure that if we want to get the benefits from the session that we did, we've got to give our body the nutrients to rebuild itself. And so we've got to get those carbs, the protein and some more fluid back in.

Jono: Mm. Yep, Yeah, I agree. I think people definitely... They do one of two things, they either neglect it or they over complicate it and they think they need some kind of fancy pants post-workout option, whereas like you said, your normal breakfast should have protein and carbs in it, and if it doesn't, that's a separate issue, fix that as well. Yeah, yeah. Cool. And it might only improve that session by half a percent, but imagine if you could improve five sessions a week by half a percent, 52 weeks, what the hell? That's going to stack very quickly.

Jenna: Yeah, and it's going to be the difference between, I guess, you showing up maybe four times versus you get to the end of the week and you can't get yourself out of bed because your legs are so sore, your core is so sore. There's a lot that goes into DOMS, but from that recovery standpoint, if you're not recovering, then you're not going back to the gym and that's the thing that most people enjoy. So why wouldn't you do all of the things that you can do to get back to doing the thing that you enjoy? And then I guess also from an injury and an illness standpoint as well, these are things that we also have to consider and not that long-term picture to be able to keep showing up. So I think it's something that we do over complicate and I don't know if it's, again, I guess the nature of, I don't want to talk ill of social media, but we see all the these-

Jono: It can do no wrong.

Jenna: ... the what I eat in a day videos and all of that kind of stuff. And we're thinking that breakfast has to be this elaborate thing or a post-training meal has to be this elaborate thing when a piece of toast and if it's a protein shake, it's a protein shake is still an adequate, fine, a few other things in there as well. But that's still an adequate sort of post-recovery meal. So yeah, it doesn't have to be fancy.

Jono: Yeah. You sort of touched on a few things then, which made me think, what are some signs that if someone isn't fueling properly, either acutely around that workout or chronically just overall, particularly if someone started CrossFit or I've got lots of clients who've been CrossFitting for two years and haven't realized that they don't have to feel the way that they feel. What are some, I guess, red flags to look out for that might indicate your fueling could use a bit of work?

Jenna: Yeah, the biggest thing that I've noticed that it resonates with a lot of CrossFitters is in that kind of acute setting of you're doing a box jump or you are on the assault bike, the assault bike by nature, it's not the most fun exercise, but that feeling of the legs just go heavy and you can't get yourself out of first gear. And if you've ever felt like that after a workout where you kind of mentally you're like, I really could have pushed in that workout and I, just for some reason couldn't, a lot of other things that may be going into it, but most commonly the body is not allowing us to get into that second gear because we don't have the fuel to do it. And so that's the biggest things in that kind of acute setting, that heavy legs just not having that engine that you maybe normally do from I guess a chronic standpoint. It's not normal to feel that sort of beat up feeling all day, every day, the entire week. You should be recovering. If you're chronically getting sick or injured. There are big signs that you're not feeling enough. If your mood changes, if your sleep changes. For women, obviously if we have changes in our menstrual cycle as well, they're all very big signs that something is going on and we're not getting enough energy and enough fuel to support all of the activity that we're doing because it is high intensity. It is a lot of work that you're doing in a short period of time, and I think people don't realize that the accumulation of that over time as well has a big... does put a big strain on the body. So it is super important that we're fueling ourselves for that amount of work.

Jono: Yeah, yeah. Yes. Good. I hope everyone listened to that, but if I don't want to do that, can I just take supplements? Yes? Is that a yes? I'm sensing yes.

Jenna: No. Look, again, not to... I think the thing that, I guess the number one, if I had to say the number one thing that, number one mistake that CrossFitters make, and it's not their fault, it's that we have so much information now available to us, we're following all of those CrossFit games athletes. We're following all of the people that you're only seeing 1% of their day and they're trying to make money as well. So they're selling you their diet plan, they're selling you their supplement and so it's quite easy to get sucked into thinking that we need all of these things. And did you buy Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies? Because ?

Jono: No, I fortunately... I wrote a song about them and then I got blocked by them, but no, I didn't buy them. But yeah, I saw that and that was devastating.

Jenna: Yeah, yeah.

Jono: Yeah.

Jenna: There's so many people out there trying to, and look nothing against the athletes that are doing it, they're trying to make some money but it puts this idea in a lot of CrossFitters that in order for me to be like them or to perform like them, I've got to be having this supplement and it's really not the case. It's like I said, you're not seeing the rest of their day. You're not seeing how many calories they're having, how many carbohydrates, the protein, how they're spreading that out across the day, which is going to give you so much more bang for your buck in terms of performance than taking something like a pre-workout or BCAAs or look even a protein powder in certain essence. I've had clients that have taken drinking three protein powders a day, protein shakes a day because they think that that's what they have to do in order to meet their protein requirements or gain strength and all that kind of stuff. And so no, you definitely don't need to be taking supplements. There are a few that definitely have some benefits, but if you're not doing the rest of it, that's not going to be what makes or breaks your performance. It's the bigger picture of everything else. But yeah.

Jono:Well, and let's say then, okay, I've been a good boy. I've listened to this podcast. I'm eating before I train, I'm eating after I train, I'm doing all the right things. I'm fueling enough. My legs don't feel necessarily... Yeah, they're always going to feel heavy on the assault bike, but I know exactly what you mean. There's heavy and then there's like concrete.

Jenna:Concrete. Yeah.

Jono:Yeah, I remember that was one of the phrases you brought to my attention that, concrete legs. Yeah, but let's say I'm doing all of those things right. What supplements are worth my attention? If I'm looking for that last 2%?

Jenna: Yeah, there's probably, look, I'm not going to put... Caffeine is technically a supplement. I'm not going to put it in with everything because I think that that is definitely individual based so caffeine is out there, but the big three that I recommend most often to CrossFitters is one, good old fashioned creatine. I feel like if you going to take anything, take your creatine. Look, it's got the most evidence, it's the most, again, if you follow us, I'm sure you understand the importance of taking creatine.

Jono: What's creatine? When should I take it? How much should I take Jenna? Kidding. We don't need to go into those just yes. Creatine.

Jenna: So creatine's probably number one. The other one, and again, everything comes back to the assault bike, beta alanine. So it has a lot of benefits in that sort of endurance standpoint. And we all have been there sitting on the assault bike. You feel that burn, that lactic acid that's going to lead us to fatigue. And so if we're taking the beta alanine, that's the benefits of that kind of buffering. We can do more work 'cause we're not fatiguing as much. So beta alanine, definitely. And then this is actually one that you brought my attention to is citrulline malate, and I was on the fence for a while. I was always kind of like, I don't really need the party pump, but it's definitely-

Jono: Everybody needs the party pump. Excuse me.

Jenna: ... it is definitely another one of those ones that, it's, as a whole, it's going to help. We've got the strength side of things, the recovery side of things, that sort of endurance. And now we're getting more, I guess, blood flow and everything to the muscle. So it's kind of tying everything together nicely with our carbohydrates before we train. So those three would be the only three, not actually, I shouldn't say the only three, but the top three that I would recommend. Yeah.

Jono: Yeah. Do I need all of them? Or if I was going to just do one or two, what would you recommend? Do [inaudible 00:36:44]. If I should do creatine?

Jenna: Creatine is probably the blanket one that I would recommend to everyone. In all honesty, it depends on your goals and so some people, they just want to turn up to the gym. They just want to be strong enough, be fit enough to run around after their kids. They want to dust off the cobwebs from their workday. They're not there to really, and this is absolutely fine, I've also been there. They're not there to be the fastest person or the strongest person. And so for them, okay, cool. Creatine would still definitely be one that I want to take. Maybe the beta alanine, the citrulline, we can come and go on. If you are maybe that person that is really trying to push to be the fastest person that you can, the strongest person, then okay, let's look at taking all three. But as a baseline, I do think that creatine is, for the general CrossFit population, is going to give you so much more improvements or bang for your buck with very, I guess, little effort. Yeah.

Jono: Yeah. Cool. And if anyone wants to learn more about creatine, go to Jenna's Instagram or my Instagram and probably look at one of the last three posts we've made. It's probably related to creatine.

Jenna: Yep.

Jono: Otherwise I think we've definitely got a blog on it. We may have a specific podcast on it. If not, I'll absolutely record, no, I'm sure we do. And then yes, so there's lots of other info out there, but yes. Cool. Cool, cool, cool. I think that's everything I want to talk about. I think that's awesome we've got a really good idea of how to eat, why we should, and how we should eat before and after if we are looking to manage body fat levels and performance. How to juggle that a little bit. We talked about supplements. I don't know, is there anything I missed? Is there anything that you've seen in your travels or come across as a, I don't know, a common misconception or a big mistake that lots of CrossFitters commonly make?

Jenna: Yeah, I think the biggest mistake would probably be coming back to this idea that we are given so much information and it is a good thing and it's a bad thing. And we're sold so many fancy diet trends. And if you just did this, then you would drop body fat. If you did this, you know. The biggest thing, I guess, the biggest red flag or the thing to pay the most attention to is, "Okay, am I dropping my calories, its too low?" Because like I said, we've got this trade off of, okay, if we've got body composition goals and not everyone has body recomposition goals, and that's absolutely fine. What am I doing with my calories all right? Because that's sort of the biggest thing. And then the red flags around, okay, are we demonizing carbohydrates? Are we demonizing simple carbohydrates as well? So the breads, the pastas, the rice, all of that kind of stuff. If you see anything that's telling you not to eat those things, then that's not the advice that you should be following. And I guess with that, the sort of high protein trend, I think there's so many things out there and I can appreciate, I've been there myself, it's so confusing. But I guess those are the big red flags to look out for is am I demonizing certain foods, especially carbohydrates. Are we dropping calories super low? Am I consuming, I don't know, 2.5 grams of protein per kilogram? Those kinds of things. They're all unnecessary and all of that's doing is just creating confusion and making it even harder for people to get results because it all sounds a little bit too hard. So yeah, I guess that's-


Jenna: ... that's my biggest gripe with nutrition and CrossFit is it's made overly complicated when it really doesn't have to be especially for 90% of the population of CrossFitters that are working full-time, kids, have lives, all of those things. We don't all need to strive to eat like an elite athlete. There's definitely some things that we can all do starting with eating before we train.

Jono: Yes. Excellent. Like I said, if you want to learn more about eating before you train or creatine or pretty much a lot of the things that I know Jen has done amazing posts on eating before you train with examples and eating after you train with examples, all of those things. So make sure you check her out at Instagram. At Instagram. On the Instagram. She's at @jennastein. I'll link it in the show notes. But again, come on guys. Surely you're already following her. If you're not though, do so. Yeah, and if you want to, I'll do it because she won't. If you are listening to this going, "Oh man, this is me. I'm doing all of these things. I need help." Shoot her a message on Instagram or if you know, truly know that, "Nah, I need a plan." Go to our website, book a call, get a plan built for you that builds all those things into it, but also takes all the guesswork out of it. So Awesome. Thank you so much for...

Jenna: Not a problem. Thanks for the chat.

Jono: Thanks you so much for coming on. Yeah, it was great. Like I said, we've got tons of CrossFit people in our world, so it's really good to kind of get it, just all the stuff they need to know in one place.

Jenna: Mm-hmm.

Jono: So amazing. I'll keep an eye out for your next eat before you train post.

Jenna: I'll send it your way. Definitely.

Jono: Epic. Awesome. Thanks Jenna. Bye.

Jenna: Thanks. Bye.